Exercise During Adjuvant Chemo Has Long-Term Benefits


Natasha Tiffany MD

Natasha Tiffany MD

For nearly 15 years, Natasha Tiffany, MD, has served as a full-time physician at Oregon Oncology Specialists (formerly Hematology Oncology of Salem) in Salem, Oregon. Alongside her work as a clinician and MD, Dr. Natasha Tiffany maintains membership in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Recent research published by the ASCO reveals patients who take part in an exercise program while undergoing post-surgical chemotherapy for breast and colon cancer can increase their ability to engage in physical activity as they get older. At a four-year follow-up interval, patients who took part in an 18-week exercise regimen during adjuvant chemotherapy averaged approximately 20 minutes more physical activity per day than those who didn’t.

The supervised education programs consisted of an hour of aerobic and weight training activities two times per week, with an additional half-hour of in-home exercise three days each week. Prior research already had shown this exercise plan provided short-term benefits to patients, but extended follow-up now reveals it also helps them continue to be active long after their treatment cycles have ended.


What to Know about Anastrozole

Anastrozole pic

Image: thinksteroids.com

A physician partner practicing in Salem, Oregon, Natasha Tiffany, MD, possesses more than two decades of medical experience. Handling oncology cases, Natasha Tiffany, MD, is knowledgeable of aromatase inhibitors, such as anastrozole.

Among the treatments available for female patients diagnosed with breast cancer is anastrozole. The drug caters to individuals who are past menopause as well as those who have received tamoxifen therapy that resulted in further disease progression. In particular, anastrozole can reduce the size of tumors by lowering a person’s blood estradiol concentration.

A doctor must prescribe anastrozole to a patient and offer instructions for consumption and dosage. The medicine can be taken with or without food, but only one dose is recommended at a time. A missed dose should be consumed as soon as possible. If the timeframe is nearing a next dose, the patient should skip the missed dose and then return to their normal schedule. A medical professional can give further information on the drug’s use and side effects.

Genetically Targeted, Personalized Cancer Treatments Increasingly Available

Cancer treatments are rapidly evolving. Traditional chemotherapy targets rapidly replicating cells. This kills the cancer cells, but can also lead to side effects such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting because the hair cells and the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract also divide quickly.

In recent years, scientists have been designing targeted treatments that are designed to block pathways needed for cancer cells to replicate and survive. Many cancer cells have genetic mutations in them that drive tumor growth. If we can identify a driving mutation in a tumor, we can design treatments that shut down the pathway it uses to promote cell division and survival. This targeted approach often has fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

This personalized cancer therapy is very promising. We are committed to providing our patients the most up to date and cutting edge treatments available. We may talk to you about doing genetic testing of your tumor to see if you might benefit from targeted therapy.

Currently, many of the targeted treatments are available only through clinical trials, but some are already available as standard of care. We can help you find the best treatment options for you. If you have questions about personalized cancer treatments, please talk to your oncologist.